Karl Ullrich

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Karl Ullrich
Born (1910-12-01)1 December 1910
Saargemünd, Alsace-Lorraine, German Empire now Sarreguemines, Lorraine, France
Died 8 May 1996(1996-05-08) (aged 85)
Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria, Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Years of service 1934–45
Rank Oberführer (senior colonel)
Service number NSDAP #715,727
SS #31,438
Battles/wars World War II

Karl Ullrich (1 December 1910 – 8 May 1996) was an Oberführer (senior colonel) in the Waffen-SS, who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves during World War II.

Early life

Ullrich was born in Saargemünd in 1910, joined Infanterie-Regiment 19 after having graduated from university. He later joined the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT; forerunner to the Waffen-SS) in 1934.[1] Ullrich was an engineering graduate when he joined the SS Engineer Battalion of the SS-VT. He was commissioned as an officer within a year and posted to command the 3rd Company, SS Pionier Battalion, SS-VT.

World War II

He was awarded the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class for bravery during the Battle of France, then transferred to the Totenkopf on the Eastern Front in 1941. He was awarded the Knight's Cross for his leadership and bravery during the battles of the Demyansk pocket in February 1942 and in October 1944 was given command of the 6th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment Theodor Eicke and was awarded the Oakleaves while in command.

Promoted to Standartenführer (colonel) he was given command of the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking for the final battles of the war in Hungary. A short time before the end of the war he was promoted to Oberführer and he surrendered to the Russians in May 1945.[2][3]

After the war, Ullrich wrote the book Like a Cliff in the Ocean: A History of the 3. SS-Panzer-Division "Totenkopf" in which he claimed that only a single member of the Totenkopf division ever committed a war crime.[4] In reality, the division committed war crimes in Poland and France.




  1. Like a Cliff in the Ocean, Karl Ullrich, 2002, J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing, ISBN 0-921991-69-X
  2. The Waffen-SS at War By Tim Ripley, p 80
  3. "frontkjemper".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. McMullen, Karl Ullrich ; translated by Jeffrey (2002). Like a Cliff in the Ocean: A History of the 3. SS-Panzer-Division "Totenkopf". Winnipeg: J.J. Fedorowicz. p. 31. ISBN 092199169X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Thomas 1998, p. 396.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 754.
  7. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 428.
  8. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 83.


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Standartenführer Johannes Mühlenkamp
Commander of 5. SS-Panzer-Division Wiking
9 October 1944 – 5 May 1945
Succeeded by